One of the most complex points of animal diagnosis is the difficulty in knowing exactly what health problem you are suffering from. Although, as owners, we always know and interpret the behavior of our animals, a good analysis needs many more certainties. For this, as veterinarians, we must rely on specialized tests and the use of technology.
In that sense, magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful diagnostic tool, since it fits all types of animals and offers us a fairly accurate approximation of the pet’s state of health; Therefore, today we will know the main advantages of this exam.
An accurate and safe diagnostic test
Magnetic resonance imaging is a diagnostic tool that is based on the usefulness of magnetic fields, without resorting to invasive procedures. It offers computerized images of the whole field, without altering the organism and, above all, without adverse effects.
Unlike X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging does not require the positioning of the animal in a certain way. In fact, it offers a complete view from any of the planes thanks to a spatial perspective.
The latter, makes the technique one of the most used in the contrast between tissues, the visualization of the cavity and also provides an incredible sensitivity for the detection of any pathogenic or abnormal element of the animal.
The procedure is carried out through the introduction of the animal into a magnetic field generated by a powerful magnet, stimulated through radiofrequency, which resonates with the hydrogen atoms of the element studied.
From there, the generated energy wave is collected and fed back to generate a tomographic image.
In some cases, the imaging is accompanied by the administration of a contrasting substance that allows the images to be altered momentarily, as a way to better differentiate certain structures, especially when searching for anomalous points.
Benefits of magnetic resonance imaging in animals
One of the main benefits of this technique, over any other, is that it is not an invasive study. The resonance does not require the intervention or manipulation of the animal’s body to throw images about its internal behaviors.
On the other hand, it is an innocuous procedure. That is, it does not directly affect the patient’s health, since it does not involve the use of any substance, element or energy that could endanger the life of the animal.
In addition, resonance is one of the most accurate ways to obtain information in a very short period of time. It offers a wide variety of shots, including cuts other than the sections studied, without the need to move the patient and with the convenience of doing the study in a very fast time.
Magnetic resonance imaging is the best alternative to reach a timely diagnosis in the most critical cases, allowing veterinarians to quickly determine the origin or causes of certain symptoms and quickly design an action plan, including visualizing the relevance of any surgical intervention.
In this regard, resonance is the map of many surgical procedures, indicating to the veterinarian what are the areas to intervene and, even, the risks they may face before reaching the surgical field.
This study is the one that gives the highest diagnostic accuracy to veterinary doctors. It allows to make cuts as accurate as a millimeter thick, so it is easy to detect any anomaly or disease, however minimal it may be.
As if this were not enough, through resonance it is possible to visualize the blood vessels, without the need for contrast or intervention.
Risks of magnetic resonance imaging for the animal
Magnetic resonance imaging does not represent a greater risk to the health of animals. However, in the case of this type of patients it is also necessary that they be anesthetized since a key point of the resonance is that the patient remains completely immobile.
While the use of anesthesia in animals does not pose a very high risk, it does not cease to represent a certain level of risk, perhaps the only one that is linked to animal resonance studies. Complications with anesthesia in animals are always a probability, although it is usually remote and the animal is always under careful medical supervision.
The study lasts between 40 and 90 minutes and before beginning the race, weight, size and age of the animal is analyzed, since based on this the appropriate anesthesia process will be determined for each case.
On the other hand, it is important that, if the animal bears a localization tattoo, tracking chips or implants, it will be notified to the veterinarian before the exam. In some cases, such as when using a chip in small breeds, it may be necessary to remove it before the study.
In the other cases, the possible incidence in the veracity of the images must be taken into account, for any case of interference with the magnet.
Clinical situations in which magnetic resonance imaging is used
Veterinary professionals indicate the use of magnetic resonance imaging in the suspicion of certain conditions, including:
Lesions of the brain, cerebellum and brainstem, if the animal begins to experience seizures, vestibular syndrome, dizziness, sudden blindness, changes in behavior and personality, mental disorders, posture problems, eating disorders, problems with thermoregulation, sleep disturbances , tremors, tachycardias, among others.
Problems in the spinal cord, in animals with some perception deficit, spinal pain, spinal injuries, problems with reflex response, lack of control of the sphincters, postoperative relapses, and a wide variety of syndromes.
Abdominal masses, tumors, suspected fluid or hemorrhage and planning of surgical interventions of some organs such as kidneys, liver, spleen and bladder.
In addition, magnetic resonance imaging is used in cases of coagulation problems in any area of the entire circulatory system, ear diseases and optic nerve diseases, as well as throat and mouth diseases.